I developed a sensitivity to potatoes a while back. Although I wasn’t a huge spud consumer in the past, I did occasionally like to eat mashed potatoes. One bite and it is easy to see why it is considered a comfort food. There is something heavenly about a spoonful of fluffy, creamy, buttery mashed potatoes (with or without gravy). It really hits the spot.
Even though potatoes are a no-go for me now, I don’t have to completely give up the soul-comforting, stick-to-your-ribs, mashy goodness experience. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and experiment. Luckily, cauliflower came to rescue (I mean when doesn’t it?). I’m convinced it can morph into anything, including a soul-nourishing bowl of taters.
I confess the taste is little different, as I find cauliflower to not be as neutral-tasting as potatoes, but thanks to the milk and butter you still get that rich, creamy mouthfeel associated with the spudtastic culinary masterpiece known as mashed potatoes.
This basic, barebones recipe can be jooshed up pretty easily. Feel free to add any add-ins normally used with its potato cousin, like chives, bacon, garlic, etc. It adapts perfectly to any traditional – and not so traditional – mashed potato recipe out there.
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets: loaded with vitamin C to help fight oxidation and potassium for proper nerve function;
2 tbsp grass-fed butter: good source of vitamin A for immune health and vision;
½- ¾ cup coconut or almond milk (cream could work as well): coconut is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides which the body uses as energy instead of storing as fat, while almond is a good source of vitamin E;
Natural Salt: rich in various minerals;
Black Pepper: contains piperine which has antioxidants and helps boost the absorption of selenium;
2 tsp of fresh herbs (parsley or thyme would work nicely);
Olive oil (optional): loaded with monounsaturated fat to help feel full longer.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil. Place florets in a steamer basket and drop into saucepan, making sure the bottom of the basket does not touch the water.
Steam until soft, about 15-20 minutes (fork should pierce cauliflower easily). Remove steamer from saucepan and discard water. Place steamed florets in a blender and add milk, butter, salt, and pepper*.
Blend until desired consistency. Serve in a bowl or platter, and top with olive and fresh herbs (or pesto as I have here), if desired.
* Instead of blending, place cauliflower in a saucepan with milk and butter, and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.